Our consultations

Between December 2023 and March 2024, the Priorities Project team consulted widely with the independent disability advocacy sector. 

The Priorities Project was about listening to the independent disability advocacy sector, subject matter experts, and people with disability about what needs to change and how to make that change happen. To utilise the deep knowledge and experience of our community, we ran a variety of consultations and sessions focused on topics, locations, and building solutions together. 

    Consultations summary

    • Between December 2023 and March 2024, the Priorities Project team consulted extensively with the independent disability advocacy sector, engaging with 130 advocates and spending 40 hours in direct consultation.

    • Consultations included informal one-on-one conversations, topic consultations with Disability Representative Organisations (DROs), state and territory consultations on Foundational Supports, and “Reform: How do we get there?” sessions, focusing on solutions.

    • The project aimed to understand what needs to change and how to make that change happen, utilising the deep knowledge and experience of the community to develop recommendations.

      Informal chats and one-on-ones 

      Informal one-on-one conversations began in December 2023. We engaged with Disability Representative Organisations and particular subject matter experts across academia, community services, disability services and lived experience of disability. Conversations were less structured, did not have a formalised agenda, and were centred on what the individual experts felt was important to talk about. Subject matter experts deeply informed our final Priorities and recommendations. 

      DRO Topic Consultations 

      In January 2024, the Priorities Project team ran four key topic consultations on Foundational Supports, Education, Safeguarding and Housing. Each consultation ran for two hours. Attendees were key policy contacts or topic experts from policy teams of Disability Representative Organisations (DROs).  

      This was a chance to hear from systemic advocates on key issues and to discuss thoughts on topics across different cohorts as a group. Systemic advocates have deep knowledge of systems, processes, legislation and policy, including impacts for their representative groups. This group had the strongest knowledge of the key reform findings and organisational responses.  

      Foundational Supports state and territory consultations 

      In January and February 2024, the Priorities Project team undertook 9 Foundational Supports consultations focused on each individual state and territory, including an additional consultation for interested advocates. Consultations varied in time depending on the state and expected attendance numbers.
      These consultations focused on understanding the current availability of disability services and supports in the state and territory, defining and understanding Foundational Supports as a group, and diving into what. 

      Reform: How do we get there? sessions 

      At the end of the consultation period, the Priorities team ran two Reform: How do we get there? sessions. These sessions were open to both systemic and individual advocates and were focused on solutions. The Priorities team shared findings from all previous Priorities consultations with Reform attendees, who then discussed how changes are made and explored potential recommendations for change. The Priorities team also tested some key ideas developed from consultations during these sessions.


      In total, the Priorities Project team consulted with 130 disability advocates from across Australia between December 2023 and March 2024. We spent 40 hours in direct consultation with independent disability advocates, people with disability and subject matter experts. 

      We would like to acknowledge the efforts made by the independent disability advocacy sector to engage with the Priorities Project. Many of the advocates we spoke to were extremely busy with their own interpretation of – and response to – the Disability Royal Commission and NDIS Review recommendations and findings. Many also gave evidence or made submissions to one or both enquiries. 

      This project happened at a time of significant sector instability and overload. Not all organisations approached were able to give input due to lack of capacity. We acknowledge the people who attended and engaged with the project and those who were unable to participate.